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MQA Sounds Really Good!

watchnerd

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#1
I'm listening to this MQA (remastered) stream from Tidal via Roon and it sounds really good.

screen-capture.png




But the Devialet doesn't decode MQA at all....but Roon does...sort of?

screen-capture-1.png


So it's half decoded?

I guess the sound I like must all be due to the remastering since the Devialet just sees it as regular PCM.

Or am I wrong?
 

amirm

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#4
Are you sure about that?

That seems to contradict what the UI says, where it says "MQA Core Decoder to 96 khz".
That says the same thing I said. :)

The file you played was at 48 kHz/flac. MQA decoding expanded this to 96 kHz. This is what Roon did and what MQA authorizes software decoders to do.

Then there is a flag that says the original was at 192 kHz so the DAC needs to double the sample rate/apply the MQA filter. This part is left to external DAC. No extra detail is filled in as a result of upsampling to 192 kHz. The "heavy lifting" and decoding of MQA was in the 96 kHz unfold that Roon performed.
 

watchnerd

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#5
That says the same thing I said. :)

The file you played was at 48 kHz/flac. MQA decoding expanded this to 96 kHz. This is what Roon did and what MQA authorizes software decoders to do.

Then there is a flag that says the original was at 192 kHz so the DAC needs to double the sample rate/apply the MQA filter. This part is left to external DAC. No extra detail is filled in as a result of upsampling to 192 kHz. The "heavy lifting" and decoding of MQA was in the 96 kHz unfold that Roon performed.
So complicated.

So...

How would that be better than Roon just doing 2x upsampling of a regular 48 kHz to 96kHz?

Or maybe it isn't?

In any case, it sounds nice.
 

amirm

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#6
How would that be better than Roon just doing 2x upsampling of a regular 48 kHz to 96kHz?
There would be no spectral content above 24 kHz in that scenario. With MQA there is.
 
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#9
That says the same thing I said. :)

The file you played was at 48 kHz/flac. MQA decoding expanded this to 96 kHz. This is what Roon did and what MQA authorizes software decoders to do.

Then there is a flag that says the original was at 192 kHz so the DAC needs to double the sample rate/apply the MQA filter. This part is left to external DAC. No extra detail is filled in as a result of upsampling to 192 kHz. The "heavy lifting" and decoding of MQA was in the 96 kHz unfold that Roon performed.
Uhhh... not to derail the thread: but why does this seem needlessly complex? What's wrong with just outputting 24/48 PCM WAV?

I think I really ought to read up on this whole arcane MQA thing one day because I really don't get it; MQA has always come across to me as a solution looking for a non-existent problem and I cannot help but feel that the more complex the decoding stack the higher the likelihood of someone unintentionally effing something up along the way.
 

Thomas savage

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#11
I'm listening to this MQA (remastered) stream from Tidal via Roon and it sounds really good.

View attachment 36718



But the Devialet doesn't decode MQA at all....but Roon does...sort of?

View attachment 36719

So it's half decoded?

I guess the sound I like must all be due to the remastering since the Devialet just sees it as regular PCM.

Or am I wrong?
Bob's touched you deeply..
 

mi-fu

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#15
Actually I kinda wonder if there is any audible difference between software decoded MQA (like Roon) and hardware decoded DAC?
 

amirm

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#16
Actually I kinda wonder if there is any audible difference between software decoded MQA (like Roon) and hardware decoded DAC?
I keep wanting to test this but can't find the time....
 

Soniclife

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#18
Okay.

But the question was is it better?

Given people can't hear above 20 kHz. Or 16 kHz in my case.
You can turn off the MQA decode in roon and send the 48/24 file out, so you are free to compare. You might, but probably won't notice a slightly lower noise floor with the decode on.
 

Soniclife

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#19
Actually I kinda wonder if there is any audible difference between software decoded MQA (like Roon) and hardware decoded DAC?
Probably not, and if there is, and the test was done properly, my money is on the software sounding better, as it does not use a dodgy upsampler that fakes extra high frequency info.
 

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